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Dwarf English Boxwood

A Great Topiary Boxwood

Dwarf English boxwood is an evergreen shrub with very densely packed tiny pale green leaves. Prized for small hedges, bonsai and topiaries, this plant has a very compact growth habit. This plant can also be used as an accent or specimen plant.

Boxwood shrubs are a traditional choice for classic or contemporary landscapes. Traditional colonial gardens often contained boxwoods. The boxwood family was used by ancient Europeans to make boxes, hence the name.

Landscape Uses

Dwarf English boxwood is most frequently used to form a low hedge. It looks nice along a driveway or outlining a formal garden. They make excellent bonsai specimens due to their slow growth and tiny leaves. This boxwood is also a good choice for a topiary.

Plant dwarf English boxwood with herbs or flowering plants in a knot garden. The tiny bright green leaves make a wonderful contrast with purple basil, tall rosemary or elegant sage. No formal English garden would be complete without its boxwood.

English Boxwood Care

Regular watering is needed to establish a good root system for your dwarf English boxwood. Plant in partial shade for the best results, though it will tolerate full sun. The soil pH should range between 6.5 and 7.0. They do not like wet soil.

They appreciate a nice mulch layer to help retain moisture. They tend to suffer through droughts, so watering will be required in dry weather. The roots are very shallow, so they need to be monitored. The English boxwood is also resisant to boxwood leaf miner.

To prevent winter damage and bronzing, the plants should be protected from freezing and dehydration. A balanced fertilizer should do well in early spring or late winter. Prune to shape whenever it is convenient except the six weeks before the first fall frost.

Be sure to remove any damaged, diseased or dying branches. Since the greens from this plant make a nice holiday decoration, a few trimmings may be taken in the winter.

As the plant gets older, you may need to remove some of the oldest branches to allow the sunlight to reach the inner growth so you don't lose leaves. Severe pruning should only be done in late winter or early spring. The plant is slow to recover from pruning.

Boxwood Information

  • Scientific Name: Buxus sempervirens 'Suffruticosa'

  • Best Soil: Well-drained loamy or sandy soil; does not like saturated soil

  • Light: Full to partial sun

  • Growth Rate: Slow

  • Foilage: Green

  • Fall Color: Bronze

  • Bloom: Inconspicuous tiny flowers

  • Mature Size and Shape: 1 - 2 feet tall and wide in a rounded shape

  • Hardiness Zone: 5 - 8

  • Plant Spacing: Plant 1 to 2 feet apart for hedges

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